t's the series that started it all... "Dragon Ball". Originally, a manga series written and illustrated by Akira Toriyama for "Shonen Jump", the manga series lasted from 1984 through 1995 and since the manga series has produced several anime series which include "Dragon Ball", "Dragon Ball Z", "Dragon Ball GT" and currently in Japan, a new HD broadcasting of "Dragon Ball Kai" and in 2009, an American live action film titled "Dragonball Evolution" was released worldwide.
"Dragon Ball" is the first arc of the series which aired in Japan from 1986 through 1989 and lasted for 153 episodes. The series was released by Harmony Gold USA in the late 80's and then by FUNimation Entertainment in 1995 and uncut episodes were released on DVD in 2003.
And now the episodes have been released in the USA uncut, remastered and digitally restored. In Feb. 2010, the third season of "Dragon Ball" was released with 31 episodes on five discs.
"Dragon Ball - Season Three" features a total of 31 episodes on five DVD's. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:
* EPISODE 62 - Sacred Water - Goku tries to get the magic water from Korin.
* EPISODE 63 - The Return of Goku - Goku goes to find Mercenary Tao.
* EPISODE 64 - The Last of Mercenary Tao - Mercenary Tao tries to climb the Tower of Korin.
* EPISODE 65 - Confront the Red Army - Goku goes to confront the Red Ribbon Army.
* EPISODE 66 - A Real Bind - Goku goes to take on Commander Red.
* EPISODE 67 - The End of Commander Red - Goku vs. Officer Black
* EPISODE 68 - The Last Dragon Ball - Goku vs. Commander Black
* EPISODE 69 - Who is Fortuneteller Baba? - Goku and friends go to meet Fortuneteller Baba in order to find the seventh Dragon Ball.
* EPISODE 70 - We Are the Five Warriors - Fortuneteller Baba sets the rules in order for her to help Goku. Her five vs. Gokyu, Krillin, Yamcha, Puar and Upu.
* EPISODE 71 - Deadly Battle - Yamcha fights the next battle after Krillins fight with Fangs.
* EPISODE 72 - Goku's Turn - Yamacha takes on Bandages the mummy.
* EPISODE 73 - The Devilmite Beam - Goku vs. Bandages the mummy.
* EPISODE 74 - The Mysterious Fifth Man - Goku vs. Spike the Devil Man
* EPISODE 75 - The Strong Ones - Goku takes on the mysterious fifth warrior.
* EPISODE 76 - True Colors of the Masked Man - Who is the mysterious fifth warrior?
* EPISODE 77 - Pilaf's Tactics - Pilaf has the final Dragon Ball but wants to make a wager against Goku in order to get all six Dragon Balls.
* EPISODE 78 - The Eternal Dragon Rises - Goku and Upu call the Eternal Dragon.
* EPISODE 79 - Terror and Plague - Goku begins his solo adventures. The first helping Chao save her village.
* EPISODE 80 - Goku vs. Sky Dragon - Goku goes to another village to help another person in need.
* EPISODE 81 - Goku Goes to Demon Land - When Goku goes to a village, a girl was kidnapped by a demon. Now Goku goes to save her.
* EPISODE 82 - The Rampage of InoShikaCho - The beast InaShikaCho is causing damage and destruction and Goku goes to help the villagers who fear the monster.
* EPISODE 83 - Which Way to Papaya Island? - Two years have passed and now it's time for the World Martial Arts Tournament and a slightly taller Goku goes to join his friends.
* EPISODE 84 - Rivals and Arrivals - With the World Martial Arts Tournament beginning, Yamcha and Krillin wonder where Goku could be.
* EPISODE 85 - Preliminary Peril - Yamcha and Krillin take on their first match against their challengers.
* EPISODE 86 - Then There Were Eight - Goku takes on King Chapa
* EPISODE 87 - Yamcha vs. Tien - Yamcha takes on Tien
* EPISODE 88 - Yamcha's Big Break - Yamcha and Tien continue their battle.
* EPISODE 89 - Full-Moon Vengeance - Jackie Chun vs. the Man Wolf
* EPISODE 90 - The Dodon Wave - Krillin vs. Chiaotzu
* EPISODE 91 - Counting Controversy! - Continuing the battle between Krillin vs. Chiatozu.
* EPISODE 92 - Goku Enters the Ring - Goku takes on the movie star challenger Pamput.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
When I first saw "Dragon Ball", it was probably back in 1992 and the quality of this raw Japanese video was so rough and hard to watch, it was just bad. Several years later, I was able to catch the first few episodes that aired on television but the problem was that the schedule was inconsistent and our television network was quite bad.
So, it is great to see this uncut, remastered and digitally restored version on DVD. Presented in its original format of 4:3, one thing I noticed is how good this anime series looked on DVD. The series is nearly 25 years old and just watching it, FUNimation Entertainment did a great job in bringing this series out and making it look very good. Granted, it is not free of blemishes, there is some dust, you will see a bit of compression but for the most part, compared to what we had available years ago or over a decade ago, I'm quite content with this remastered version of the series.
As for the audio, similar to the recent FUNimation Entertainment "Dragon Ball Z" and "Dragon Ball GT" releases, the English voice track with original Japanese music comes in 5.1 Surround, while the Japanese voice track is in its original Japanese mono. I watched both English and Japanese and of course, there are some changes in the English dialogue (ie. Master Roshi and in the Japanese track, Kamesama Sennen) and grew up watching the original Japanese version but for the most part, I have enjoyed the "Dragon Ball Z" and "Dragon Ball GT" dubwork and similar to those two series, I found th English dubwork for "Dragon Ball" to be quite solid. Dialogue is clear and understandable and for audio settings, for both audio tracks, I found the best setting for me was to select on my receiver "Stereo on all Channels".
Subtitles are in English.
"Dragon Ball - Season Three" comes with the textless opening and closing theme songs and FUNimation Entertainment trailers plus a 24-page booklet with character information and episode synopsis.
So, far this latest volume of "Dragon Ball" is my favorite yet. For "Dragon Ball Z" fans who enjoyed more action-oriented storylines, this volume is definitely action-driven.
Also, we get a glimpse of situations that become important in the "Dragon Ball Z" storyline such as Goku getting acquainted with Korin and Goku having his first sensu bean. Also, plenty of battles with Goku taking on Mercenary Tao, the Red Ribbon Army and also the World Martial Arts Tournament where we get to see future Z-warriors Tien and Chiaotzu.
There really is nothing negative that can be said about this latest volume. If you are a "Dragon Ball" fan, it's simply a must buy. This is the best release I have seen of the anime series thus far in the US and the fact that you are getting over 30 episodes in one set is an amazing deal.
And if you have collected the first two seasons, it just gets better from there and expect about two more volumes of "Dragon Ball", just in time as FUNimation Entertainment prepares its HD release of "Dragon Ball Z Kai" (note: "Dragon Ball Z" is currently available, also in its uncut Japanese version featured in the "Dragon Box" DVD sets from FUNimation Entertainment". Hopefully, we will see a re-release or maybe a Blu-ray release of the "Dragon Ball" films.
Overall, "Dragon Ball - Season Three" is another awesome volume for the series and its literally a series that gets better and better. Definitely recommended!